Brooklyn is the Dalston of New York, an area having developed after costs in Manhattan push younger people out to more affordable areas. Although they still have some dodgy neighbourhoods, a lot of areas have redeveloped, new, cool bars and restaurants have flourished.
Do or Dine is one such place. Popular on the weekends for its alternative breakfast, the whole place is designed to give you a different experience. Despite being on a relatively main street, it is disguised from view with its restaurant banner actually displaying an alternative name (see pictures below)
A small bar sits in the back, alongside a bathroom-tiled small kitchen where they mix up the most interesting drinks and foods. A disco ball spins, sending light to other distracting corners of the room.
They decorate the walls with some strange elements, and find the most unusual things such as a can of “Unicorn meat” (not for consumption).
All of this, naturally points to interesting combinations and new designs of some classic dishes. We start our brunch by sharing some appetisers including a foie gras doughnut (good but not really my favourite as the foie gras is too overpowering), some “fawntons” (or wontons filled with venison) and some “e666s” (or some battered devilled eggs)
All of the food was beautifully presented, and pretty good although I think I liked the fawntons the best – the wontons filled with a meat that reminded me of tender pulled pork and matched with a mustard sauce that held some punch. For our mains, we tried “A chicken and woffals” and “Fish and some chips”. The chicken arrived as a “jerk chicken” that was super tender, moist although the coating reminded me more of a sweet thai chilli sauce than any strong jerk coating.
The fish dish was probably one of the most impressive, an upright, wholly fried fish “mohawked” my some caviar that had been brightly marinated in fresh yuzu sauce. The chips were crunchy, and it was all accompanied with a vinegar-enriched sauce providing freshness to this fried dish. Super yum.
At the other end of the Brooklyn spectrum, we met some of my sister’s friends for a brunch at “Egg“, a stronghold place known as a good place to have brunch. I think it may have hit the Lonely Planet book as we saw this no-reservations place filled with people carrying a “New York” or “Brooklyn” edition. Naturally like most “no reservation” places, you have to queue. Here, at least, they get you to sign up on a board and they have a pretty quick turn around. Best suited for tables of two or four, we had a bit of an awkward seating for six.
Paper tops off the table and crayons in a container provide entertainment as you peruse the menu. Not that you have much time as our waitress checks back (a bit too frequently) about whether or not we were ready to oder. Despite being very nice, we definitely felt the pressure to order, pay the bill, and were “encouraged” to leave. Fair enough, but not really the dining experience I want.
This restaurant offers much more classical American fare such as oatmeal and pancakes. I opt for the pancakes with bacon which turns out to be a pretty good choice – three fluffy huge pancakes and a side of salty bacon. Yummo.
Others decide to get the “most ordered dish” on the menu, the “Eggs Rothko” which is basically a brioche French Toast topped off with cheese and slight deviation of a slightly undercooked egg that seeps from the middle of the toast. Others still order the hash, which whilst presented very plainly apparently was pretty tasty as well.
They are very straight up about what they do. And do not. They do not have espresso based coffees. They do not do eggs Benedict. Although a pretty decent place, I’d only line up for this if I was in the area rather than make a special trip out for it.